Sheffield college homes plan set for approval

Plea: Nick Clegg MP and Coun David Baker with Jan Symington, Diane Parker and Anne Holmes from the Loxley Valley Protection Society at the old Loxley College site.
Plea: Nick Clegg MP and Coun David Baker with Jan Symington, Diane Parker and Anne Holmes from the Loxley Valley Protection Society at the old Loxley College site.
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THE fate of derelict college buildings blighting a Sheffield suburb is set to be determined at a council planning board meeting.

The former Loxley College site, on Wood Lane, Stannington, is derelict and vandalised.

Hallam MP Nick Clegg, Stannington councillor David Baker and groups including Loxley Valley Protection Society want the buildings demolished.

Ben Bailey Homes, which plans to create a housing development on the site and has outline planning permission, is now seeking full consent for its scheme.

The application will be determined at a meeting of the west and north planning committee on Tuesday.

Mr Clegg said: “It is unacceptable that local people have had to put up with this eyesore for so long. Apart from spoiling the views across the Loxley Valley, the site is a magnet for attracting unwanted anti-social behaviour to the area. It should be demolished without delay.

“In an ideal world the old Loxley College building would be demolished and the land kept as open green space. However, if that isn’t possible the developer and authorities need to listen to local people and deliver a solution that has the backing of the wider community.”

Ben Bailey Homes is applying for permission to build 69 homes.

But neighbouring residents and conservation groups are unhappy about the impact of the new residents on public services.

Protesters, supported by the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Rivelin Valley Conservation Group, Bradfield Parish Council, and Loxley Valley Protection Society, are also unhappy that the design is ‘too cramped’ and will cause traffic and noise.

Existing playing fields at the site would be relocated, while tree planting is proposed.

Sheffield Council planning officers said the development is ‘considered acceptable’ and ‘recommended for approval’.

Outline planning permission for housing has previously been granted in 2011, despite the site lying within the green belt, because its redevelopment was deemed a ‘special case’.